Kolkata: Sikkim women’s cricket team which concluded the Plate group of Women’s Senior One Day trophy, ended up losing 5 matches while winning only a single game with Arunachal Pradesh on November 3.

The five losses came against Jammu and Kashmir where Sikkim scored a meager 33 runs. In the second game, Sikkim improved its batting scoring 181 runs, but the poor bowling and fielding led to Meghalaya chasing their score with 5 wickets remaining.

In the next game, Sikkim bundled out from 159 which Nagaland chased down with 5 wickets intact. On November 4, coming high from the Arunachal win in the previous match, Bihar registered 209 runs, Sikkim’s attempted chase was cut short by 36 runs as the women’s team lost all wickets at 173 runs. 

In the final game, Sikkim showcased poor bowling and fielding which led to Manipur registering 240 runs for the loss of wickets. The women’s team missed as many as a dozen runout chances, while Manipur middle order and the tail took advantage of the same.

In retaliation, the Sikkim team showed intent with the batting registering 95 runs in 18 overs with the opening partnership between Manizha Mumtaz (72) and Tshering Ongmu Lepcha (26 runs). But after the opening partnership, the middle order showed no real intent.

Guest players Rinki Rajak and Jetsun Norbu Chee faltering for scores of 6 each. Senior Player Tabita Subba coming at 9 and Pranita Chettri showed some resilience reaching scores of 18 and 14 respectively. But the game was lost by then, as Sikkim team were able to register 180 runs for 9 wickets in their 50 overs. Sikkim lost the final game by 60 runs.

Tabita and Pranita were the only two players who showed intent with bowling with the former taking 2 wickets including the big wicket of Monica from Manipur who scored 77. Spinner Pranita on the contrary, bowled four maidens in 8 overs giving away 27 runs for a wicket.

Pranita, speaking to East Mojo post-match shared, “I have changed my bowling a bit now, as I bowl a lot quicker as a spinner. I noticed they were struggling with my spin so kept on bowling quicker. I have loved bowling quicker and I am sure it will reap results in the future”.

Captain Purni Maya Gurung who took a wicket in her 6 overs spell, shared, “Bowling is the reason for the loss, it was not on the line and we bowled short. Fielding and run out chances we missed and it has been consistent in other matches. We get less practice and in those one-month time of practice, we mostly sort out who bats and who balls, that is when fielding takes a back seat. Perhaps it points out to assemble as a team, year-round which other teams tend to do”.

On the brink of a chance with the batting on the final game, Captain Gurung shared, “We were 100 percent sure looking at 95 no wicket loss, we felt sure we would chase down 242, we are confident that right down till number 7.”

Guest player Mumtaz who scored 72, shared, “Sikkim has played very less of 50 overs cricket, ideally it’s 20 over cricket. We have had a lot of practice matches, we learned to play for 50 overs, our whole team collapsed without even scoring 80 runs. We have improved in these 15 days, to build the team. If we get more practice we will get better. In previous matches I didn’t score, I was focused on my bowling. As a guest player, they expect a lot of me. But others don’t get to bat as much, so I had to take this responsibility”. 

But two runouts occurred at the non-striker’s end when Mumtaz was at the crease. On the lack of communication, Mumtaz shared, “Runouts happen because of non-communication. I and Ongmu were partnering well. We have learned all these but mistakes are bound to happen and because of which we lost”. 

Ongmu also backed the partnership in the opening, “I was an opener but Manizha was opening for the first time. We created many run-out chances. Once we call, we make the run, that was our motive. Single or double on misfields. I scored 26 runs, but more as a supporting act to Manizha. This was the first time that we had such a huge opening partnership”.

The team was under a bio bubble, on the experience, the team shared, “Security is a lot which is beneficial. It is more disciplined, hygienic and the process must continue, we won’t end up going outside and it makes the team more of a team”.

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